Tag Archives: cookies

An energy boost

I have just started a new job and there is lots to learn during the training period, which I find can be quite exhausting. Especially as I have to juggle it with family commitments.  Plus it is a shift role, so a mixture of early starts, late finishes plus night shifts again, which I’ve recently had a few months break from. So I was very pleased to be offered a free energy boosting goody pack from Pharmaton.

Energy boosting goodies

I received the following products.
75ml thisworks deep sleep pillow spray
Neom Energy Burst On the Go Mist
50g Nutriseed raw Maca powder
Boots £10 gift card (to purchase Pharmaton Vitality Capsules)

Pharmaton Vitality Capsules

So on my next shopping trip, I popped into Boots to buy a bottle of the Pharmaton Vitality Capsules. This contained 30 capsules, currently at an RRP of £9.49, for which the recommended dose is one tablet daily. I decided to take the full packet before telling you what I thought of them. The packet indicates that they are clinically proven against tiredness and lack of energy. Would I find that so?

The first 2 days didn’t go too well with me getting a bad headache overnight. The packet does warn that headaches may be a common side effect. But after that, things improved and although it is difficult to say with any certainty, I feel that overall I was probably more energised. During week 4, I did my first night shifts in several months, and I felt that my body adjusted back better afterwards.

Pharmaton Vitality Capsules

Pharmaton Vitality Capsules contain a special blend of vitamins and minerals, including the unique G115 ginseng extract. The idea is that they work with your body’s natural metabolism to relieve fatigue and restore vitality, and also help keep you stay mentally and physically alert. They can be taken every day for up to 12 weeks. (For the relief of temporary periods of fatigue. Always read the label).

And of course I tried out the other goodies too.

thisworks deep sleep pillow spray

The pillow spray is great. You just spray it on your pillow and the top end of your duvet. Then smell the delightful fragrance of lavender, vetivert and wild camomile as you drift off. Lavender is one of my favourite scents so this was perfect for me.

Neom Energy Burst On the Go Mist

The Neom mist has a lovely fragrance too and is 100% natural, but it comes in a very tiny bottle. I can’t see the size details on the packaging, but I’m guessing 5ml, so it won’t last me long. I’ve already used over half of it. Basically you spritz it above you or on your wrists, then supposedly breathe in through your nose for a count of 7 and out through your mouth for a count of 11. However I found that I couldn’t breathe for anything like this length, so I’m just doing it as slow as I can manage.

And finally the organic maca powder. I had never heard of maca, so I had to do some research. I found that the Incas have been cultivating it for 1000s of years in the high Peruvian Andes, boosting their energy at such a high altitude. More details on Wikipedia. The packet says to add 1-2 teaspoons to your smoothies, shakes, juices and healthy bakes. Well I decided to use it in my not quite so healthy chocolate cookie recipe.

Double choc chip cookies with maca

Double Choc Chip Cookies

Ingredients (makes about 13)

200g butter
200g plain flour
50g cocoa
1 heaped teasp maca powder
120g soft brown sugar
1 egg
few drops vanilla essence
1 tbsp milk
100g chocolate chips


Preheat fan oven to 170 degree C.
Grease 2 baking trays.
Cream together the butter and sugar.
Beat in the egg.
Add the vanilla essence.
Sieve in the cocoa.
Add the maca powder.
Sieve in the flour.
Mix together.
Mix in the chocolate chips.
Mix in milk if mixture is too stiff.
Spoon balls of mixture onto the baking trays.
Bake in pre-heated oven for about 12 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serve and enjoy.

Double choc chip cookies with maca

Delicious. Everyone gave these the thumbs up.

And here are some more simple tips to help you make the most of your day and get your energy levels back.

  1. Stay Hydrated

It seems obvious but make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day. According to the Natural Hydration Council, dehydration can reduce the ability to concentrate and impact cognitive and physical performance. NHS choices recommend that you drink at least 1.2 litres of fluid a day which is roughly 6-8 glasses of water. The best way to remind yourself is to keep a glass or bottle on your desk and set yourself a target amount to drink by the end of the day.

  1. Eat right

Make sure that you eat the right foods at the right time. It is tempting to reach for high fat, high sugar products when you are tired but these will leave your energy levels crashing, making you feel irritable and still hungry. Keep a pot of nuts such as almonds or cashews at your desk for when you need an energy boost.

  1. Get a good sleep

According to the national Sleep Council, your bedroom should not be an extension of the house. So don’t use the bedroom to eat, watch TV, work or talk in – the bedroom should be used for sleeping. Plan a consistent sleeping schedule by trying to get the same amount of sleep every night and at similar times. Move all screens out of the bedroom and try to avoid staring a bright screen an hour before bed, as the light keeps your brain awake leaving you struggling to drift off.

  1. Move it

If you feel your concentration failing, don’t reach for another coffee or sugary snack – get moving! Even low intensity exercise like a brisk walk around the block at lunch can help reduce the feeling of fatigue.

I’d be interested to hear your top energy boosting tips.

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Disclosure. This post includes a review of products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest

Britmums have challenged bloggers to take the #OreoCookieQuest Challenge. And as one of the first 100 to sign up to the challenge, I received two free packets of Oreo cookies, for the family to enjoy a tasty treat.

Great Oreo Cookie Quest

I decided that we would have a fun Oreo cookie quest at home. I hid the treats and thought up some clues for the hiding places, then gave the clues to the boys for them to figure out.

Great Oreo Cookie Quest

Son1 immediately headed to the kitchen and after a false start rummaging through the chiller drawer in the fridge, he discovered his first Oreo in the fruit bowl.

Great Oreo Cookie Quest

Meanwhile son2 rushed upstairs and found Oreos on my pillow.

Great Oreo Cookie Quest

They found most of the Oreos quite quickly, but the final hiding place was a bit more tricky. They were on the right track looking in the freezer, but they needed a little hint to prompt them to look inside the ice cream carton. What a delicious combination of 2 Oreos and ice cream, 2 being the perfect serving size.

Great Oreo Cookie Quest

Oreo is celebrating The Great Oreo Cookie Quest with a fun and interactive way to win great prizes. Oreo fans have the opportunity to win a once-in-a-lifetime wonder-filled trip to California and the Googleplex through an on-pack promotion. I downloaded the app to try our luck and son2 had great fun scanning for Oreos. He found about 25 in half an hour but this is his favourite below. No points for guessing where he scanned. Certainly not one of the places I would choose to hide an Oreo!

Great Oreo Cookie Quest

So try your luck by popping a pack in your trolley on your next shopping trip. And I’ve still got another pack of Oreos left. Think I might try using them to cook a tasty treat for the family. Anyone got a recipe suggestion for me?

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Disclosure. This post mentions a product that I was sent for free. All opinions are my own. This post is an entry for BritMums #OreoCookieQuest, sponsored by Oreo.

Teatime Treats plus giveaway

I’ve been busy baking again. This time a selection of tasty teatime treats using Macabella Cocoa & Macadamia Spread. I received 4 jars free to review – 2 each of Macabella Crunch and Macabella Velvet.

Macabella cocoa & macadamia spread

As Macabella spreads contain a high content of both sugar and vegetable oil, I’ve experimented with simplifying traditional recipes to replace ingredients like chocolate, butter and sugar or syrup with Macabella. This also cuts out the saucepan stage of having to melt fat, etc, so my recipes are quick and super-easy to make.

Macabella cookies

Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients (makes 12)

250g Macabella Crunch
150g plain flour
1 egg


Preheat fan oven to 180 deg C.
Mix Macabella, flour and egg together.
Grease baking trays.
Divide mixture into 12 balls.
Place on a baking tray, about 5cm apart and press down slightly.
Cook for 10 minutes in centre of pre-heated oven.
Allow to cool.
Serve and enjoy.

Macabella cookies

Macabella brownies

Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients (makes 12)

300g Macabella Crunch
75g plain flour
2 eggs


Preheat fan oven to 180 deg C.
Mix Macabella, flour and eggs together.
Grease and line a 20cm square tin.
Tip mixture into tin and smooth into corners.
Cook for about 30 minutes in centre of pre-heated oven.
Allow to cool and then cut into 12 pieces.
Serve and enjoy.

Macabella brownies

Macabella flapjack

Chocolate and Cranberry Flapjack

Ingredients (makes 12)

150g Macabella Velvet
300g oats
approx 50ml milk
25g dried cranberries


Preheat fan oven to 180 deg C.
Mix Macabella, oats, cranberries and sufficient milk to stir easily together.
Grease and line a 20cm square tin.
Tip mixture into tin and smooth into corners.
Cook for about 30 minutes in centre of pre-heated oven.
Allow to cool and then cut into 12 pieces.
Serve and enjoy.

Macabella flapjack

Everyone who tried one of these tasty treats said how delicious they were. My personal favourite are the cookies. The Crunch really added to both the cookies and the brownies whilst Velvet was just right for the flapjack as Crunch would have been lost amongst the flapjack texture.

And of course I tried both types spread on bread too. Heavenly. With the macadamia flavour, they tasted just that bit more luxurious than traditional nut-free or hazelnut based chocolate spreads. They are marketed as premium Belgian quality. The Velvet contains 15% macadamia nuts and the Crunch 19.5%.

Macabella Velvet and Crunch are both available at Sainsbury’s with a current RRP of £3 for a 375g jar. That is not much more than the price of a standard chocolate spread for a premium product. I’ll certainly be buying this in the future.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 2 jars of Macabella to 3 lucky winners. Each winner will receive 1 jar of each of the following flavours – Macabella Velvet and Macabella Crunch.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your ideas for a recipe using Macabella. I’ve got one more jar left and I’m planning to make some chocolate pinwheels, by spreading it over puff pastry, rolling up, then cutting into slices before baking. Do you think it would be too naughty to eat these pastries for breakfast?

You can find Macabella on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Disclosure. This post is a review of products I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Hobbits cookies

Cookie dough

Ready to bake


I tried baking Dinner Bank’s Hobbits cookies recipe today and my kids went mad for them. Will definitely be making these again.


My Hobbits cookies are something which is dedicated to my children. When they lived at home then disappeared cakes double-time. But I understand and yet today so I do not bake them all at once without parts dough into 4-6 pieces. Slices up and let the others go into the freezer unbaked.

One tip, if you use a machine, then add the raisins at the end. Otherwise they break worked, as mine was now, therefore, became the cookies dark.

270 g of room temperature butter
160 g of sugar
160g brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
380 g of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
110 g of oatmeal
220g raisins
Beat butter and sugar fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients and make sure everything is mixed well and becomes a dough ball. Take the dough ball divide into 4…

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